|A.K.A.||Шпаннер Рудольф, Рудольф Шпаннер, Шпаннер|
|Was||Military physician Professor Educator Anatomist|
|Type||Academia Healthcare Military|
|Birth||17 April 1895, Koblenz-Metternich, Germany|
|Death||31 August 1960, Cologne, Germany (aged 65 years)|
Rudolf Spanner (born 17 April 1895 in Metternich bei Koblenz; died 31 August 1960) was Director of the Danzig Anatomical Institute during World War II. On his own initiative, he set up a process to produce soap from human fat in 1943-44 and a limited quantity of the soap was produced on his order to clean autopsy rooms.
During the Nuremberg Trials, Sigmund Mazur, a laboratory assistant at the Danzig Anatomical Institute, testified that soap had been made from corpse fat, and claimed that 70 to 80 kg (154-176 lbs) of fat collected from 40 bodies could produce more than 25 kg (55 lbs) of soap, and that the finished soap was retained by Professor Rudolf Spanner. Eyewitnesses included British POWs who were part of the forced labor that constructed the camp, and Dr. Stanislaw Byczkowski, head of the Department of Toxicology at the Danzig School of Medicine. Suggested sources for the fat include Stutthof concentration camp, Danzig Municipal Jail, and a Danzig psychiatric hospital. The total of "human soap" produced by Rudolph Spanner is estimated at "somewhere between 10 and 100 kilograms"
"Aaron Breitbart, a senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, agreed that the evidence is thin. 'The leading scholars of the Holocaust are of the opinion that the Nazis did not make soap,' he says. 'It was a cruel rumor at the camps.'". Holocaust survivor Thomas Blatt, who investigated the subject, found little concrete documentation and no evidence of mass production of soap from human fat, but concluded that there was indeed evidence of experimental soap making.